However, University of Hawaii civil engineer and rail opponent Panos Prevedouros believes there will be little if any money left from contingency funds that have already been allocated.
"Even if there are, the contingency funds used to be a full billion in 2006," said Prevedouros. "It has shrunk down to $600 million and down now to about $100 million. That is very alarming."
The transit authority has long maintained the $996 million in contingency funding identified by the project's environmental impact statement would be drawn down close to zero as construction continues through 2019.
"As allowed by the FTA, the contingency fund total has been gradually reduced over the last several years as the project progresses, and estimated costs become more concrete," said Ishikawa.
In April, 2011 the contingency stood at $865 million, or 21 percent of the total project cost. By September of that same year, it was down to $815 million. Currently, as noted in the latest monthly report, it stands at $643.6 million.
To date the city has issued $3.13 billion in rail-related contracts. The latest contract was issued July 30 to AECOM Technical Services, Inc. to design the "city center" elevated guideway from Middle Street to the Ala Moana Shopping Center, where a majority of native Hawaiian burials are expected to be found.
HART has yet to issue a press release about the latest contract award, and when contacted by KITV4, AECOM vice president of external communications Paul Dickard said work on a press release had not yet begun.
"At this point, we have not been (working on it)," said Dickard.
Grabauskas left Honolulu Friday in route to Washington, D.C. where he will meet with officials from the Federal Transit Administration to discuss the rail project. Ishikawa said the meeting was planned before the Hawaii Supreme Court issued its ruling Aug. 24.